Children Poisoned by Lead Shouldn't Be Turned Into A Limerick

Granholm trivializes Flint water crisis with tasteless demagoguery

Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s use of Dr. Seuss-like rhymes to entertain delegates at the Democratic National Convention this week took a dark and hyperpartisan turn in a stanza mentioning the Flint water tragedy.

Granholm essentially used children poisoned by lead in municipal water supplies as a tool to scandalize her Republican successor and the legislative majorities who have governed Michigan since she left office in 2010. Speaking of the Republicans, she said, “They are lead poisoning children in the city of Flint; they are slashing the reach of labor’s footprint.”

ForTheRecord says: The Flint water contamination is among the worst environmental disasters in Michigan history. The ACLU estimates that 9,000 Flint children were exposed to lead-poisoned water. There were also a reported 12 deaths from Legionnaires’ disease that officials believe may be linked to the city’s 2014 switch from Lake Huron for its drinking water to the Flint River.

The event has confounded partisan attempts to lay the blame on one political party or even one level of government. The contamination was the product of failures at every level of government — local, state and federal. It implicates appointed officials, civil servants and politicians of both parties.

In the current political environment, "civility" may seem like a quaint and outdated concept. But using poisoned children as a cute limerick to attack political opponents is tasteless at any time.